Kent Nerburn (A Haunting Reverence) is one of the finest essayists in America. He has an elegant style that goes to the heart of spiritual awareness and reverence for life. In this wonderful collection of essays organized around 14 lines of the famous prayer attributed to Francis of Assisi, he marvels at the distinctive and honorable part we all have to play in the music of creation. This Middle Ages saint is universally popular, according to Nerburn, because he always acted like "a person who had fallen in love."

Saint Francis saw beauty and brightness everywhere and, if we are to follow in his footsteps, love must become a habit of our heart, an inclination of the Spirit. Nerburn includes touching stories here about being with someone in a time of darkness and doubt — an act of selfless service for a woman on her way to a hospice, the healing act of a distraught father for the man who killed his daughter, and the kindness of an African who put off his mother's funeral to spend a few hours with 30 people in a class. Nerburn's meditations on peace, forgiveness, joy, giving, and dying shine with sensitivity and deep meaning.